Hype Train: Splody!

Splody Editorial 1

So, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this, not because it’s bad, but because it’s wonderful, and it’s a simple concept done right. When I was at community college, I met a lot of friends who played party games. I personally don’t, with one exception: BOMBERMAN. I. Bloody. Love. Bomberman. You and up to four friends get together in a tiny, cramped maze, drop bombs, get power-ups, and blow up all the friends and bots you possibly can, without trapping yourself. You will, you know. Sooner or later, you will murder yourself via bombing, and you’ll be mad. That’s just the nature of the game. And this game is a spiritual successor to the Bomberman Franchise. It has basically the same powerups, except there’s also a Three Bomb, and a Virus. I didn’t step on the virus, but I can only assume that it’s very, very bad. I also didn’t get a chance to play this much with actual people, but the bots were smart enough to let me get a grip on what I’m doing. It doesn’t have a story mode, which Bomberman is famous for. Instead, this gets you right into the down-and-dirty, the nitty-gritty, as it were. The concept is simple, you go through a best of X, getting kills. Killing yourself gives you negatives though, so it’s not really a good idea to bomb yourself out to prevent a friend from getting a kill.

Splody Editorial 2

But what does this one do that Bomberman doesn’t? I really had to ask myself this while I was trying out the Level Editor. Yup, you can build your own levels! You can set spawn points, power-up frequency, make the size of the stage big or as small as you need, put the blocks to blow up. It’s really quite fun. And you can play them online. Oh yes. But back to what I was originally going to mention: You can play this local-co-op. Not just four players, mind. They boast “as many players as you can connect to your rig”. They were suggesting in-game that you could have 4-20 players. That is the definition of insanity! I can even imagine having 15 people over, crowded around the TV and swearing at each other, drinks flowing, having to take a shot everytime you die, or kill someone in game. . . I can see a lot of potential for fun here. It’s a very simple, inexpensive game, and while I think it could very well step on some toes with the closeness in item design, I don’t think they’re going to catch flack over it. I don’t think you can have that many players online, but I’d like to see it anyway.

Hype Train Has No Brakes: 4/5

Splody Editorial 3

There’s a fair amount of customization before you go into a match though. Not a ton, but there is some! You pick an avatar, and a duo-color scheme, and you join a room. That simple! That’s what this is: Good, simple fun. It’s a concept that’s been around since the 80s and has thrived on every console it’s been on. Hell, there’s even a Bomberman on the Switch. But PC has had a disturbing lack of Bomber-style games, and Splody fits that bill quite nicely. It’s not complicated, it’s not difficult to learn, but it’s for damn sure hard to master! Mostly because you can’t really predict how crazy your opponents or even the bots will be. It’s good fun, and it’s about time the couch co-op really came back. I think this would do amazingly well on the Steam Box, or for anyone that can/does hook their machine, laptop or otherwise, up to a big screen TV. Better break out the multi-dongle USB hubs, because you’re gonna need them!

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